Integrated road drop-bar-and-stem combinations have occupied a small niche in the cockpit market since their introduction. They’re generally expensive and non-adjustable, but often come with claims of increased stiffness over traditional bars and stems. Today, you’ll mostly find them from the likes of Bontrager, Roval, Giant/Liv, and a few others; house brands of bike manufacturers. Search on Amazon and eBay, and you’ll also find a litany of off-brand, factory-direct, and other bars of at least somewhat questionable origin. One of the few remaining aftermarket bars from a well-known company comes from Vision, the sister brand of FSA. Their 6D bar will be the subject of today’s article.
The 6D is an all-carbon bar/stem combination, with a UD carbon finish. It features a compact 125mm drop and 80mm reach; dimensions that are more-or-less in the ballpark of what I’d call “standard” for road riding these days.
Those drops include a 5mm offset, which I personally call “squiggle shape”. While originally reserved for gravel and cyclocross bikes, flared drops are quickly becoming standard for road.
Similar to other aero-shaped bars, the 6D includes a molded-in “suggestion” of where you ought to stop wrapping your bars, to leave as much un-taped area as possible on the tops.
Size options for the 6D include:
-6 x L90 x W400 mm (c-c)
-6 x L100 x W400, 420 mm (c-c)
-6 x L110 x W420 mm (c-c)
-6 x L120 x W420 mm (c-c)
-6 x L130 x W420, 440 mm (c-c)
All that carbon beauty comes at a cost – a hefty $625 USD.
The weight of the 6D comes in at 395 grams (100×400mm size). This is certainly not heavy, but light weight isn’t the purpose of this product. For comparison, you can purchase an FSA SL-K Compact carbon bar ($242, 210 grams) along with their Energy SCR alloy stem ($104, 113g) for a savings of $279 and 72 grams.
The 6D comes pre-routed with guides for internal cable routing to assist with the installation process.
The underside of the stem area has attachment points for accessories, along with a Di2 junction box compartment.
Yes, even the stem is full carbon. It appears to be fairly beefy, to handle the high forces that a stem must deal with.
Vision includes a full kit of headset accessories, along with mount options for a standard computer or a Garmin head unit.
Aero headset spacers round out the package to dial in handlebar height.
As far as performance claims go, Vision states that the 6D is “The stiffest and most aero integrated handlebar and stem system.” We requested information to back the claim, but haven't received any data as of yet.
Note that Vision also offers a similar bar called the 5D, which features a 10-degree forward sweep. They tell us that this is often chosen by the climbers on their sponsored professional road teams, who prefer the comfort of the forward-swept bar tops.